My Friend in Meth
Curious to know where everyone
flows to with such eager determination.
Red and blue lights.
Without hurry I amble
to the front.
Something that used to be human
lies in the dirty slush
where a pristine white
sheet of snow fell only minutes ago.
The face black pulp. Fetal position.
Eating the earth.
I know that hat.
Always full of those fresh flowers
Beth never forgot to steal
when she needed an upper.
I’ve come a long way since analog
Digital is faster, immediate, easy and cheap.
Gave my old Nikon to a collector, needed
to know it’s cherished. Got too heavy anyway
for an old photographer with a dodgy heart
and doubtful knees, no longer trekking across
the Andes at 4000 meters. They say the new way
lacks soul. You get what you put in.
Nothing is more reliable than change.
The album’s pages have yellowed some,
moisture made some photos stick. Here are my feet
kicking up a carpet woven by the fall guy, now covered
in liquid honey spreading towards the darker verges
of the evening road. Ireland in glorious
technicolor swashes, the wind seeming to whisk
the leaves up to a céilí played by unseen musicians
hidden in dark clouds of portent. Before I turn
the page, I can’t help but remember the shadows
which ate our light. That’s the way it was.
Plankter, a word with an obscene
feel. You’ll never find just one. Any organism
living in the water column, says Wikipedia,
and incapable of swimming
against a current, is a plankter.
Even sharks like them as appetizers.
From 30,000 meters and higher, humans
would appear rather small.
Can you see us swim against the currents?
Even jellyfish must stay put
but for the few capabable of independent
movement. Still, they can only do vertical.
The current trend
is all there is.
Even fashionable currents
in philosophy, economics, history,
religion, and other legends.
But the delusion of independent
movement remains complete.
My fellow plankton, I honor you.
A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and a poetry collection published in 2011 in the UK, ‘TANGENTS’, her recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozen US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies and Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. She has been a finalist in several GR contests, and won third price in in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US).